• Venezuela Leopoldo López lands in Madrid after leaving Venezuela

  • Venezuela Leopoldo López leaves the Spanish embassy in Caracas

The escape of Leopoldo López was much more than a free and voluntary decision, as the Spanish Government summarized.

It was a high-risk, almost suicidal operation that did not have initial guarantees of success.

"A very difficult, very dangerous operation.

A total miracle that could reach the border,

" one of the key participants in the escape confirmed to EL MUNDO, under anonymity.

Already in Colombian territory, the Government of Bogotá covered the opponent after his film escape and assisted him until he finally took a flight to Spain, where he arrived at noon this Sunday.

Currently the border is closed on both sides by the coronavirus pandemic, but it is crossed through clandestine crossings, used daily by hundreds of migrants fleeing in a new wave of revolutionary collapse.

The escape of the one who was the most symbolic prisoner of Chavismo caught the revolutionary government out of the game, before his daring movement.

Even spokesmen on revolutionary television questioned whether López had really left the legation.

Hours later, reprisals began against personnel linked to the Spanish embassy and to the opposition leader himself.

Diosdado Cabello, number two in the revolution, today accused Jesús Silva, the Spanish ambassador, of facilitating the escape of the "coward" López.

"The guests do not run away. I guarantee that as a guest, the ambassador accompanied him to the door or to the car (vehicle) that took him away," claimed Cabello during an electoral tour.

Cabello's statements confirm that

there was no prior pact between governments or between the opposition and the Chavistas

, as it was fired from ultra-opposition positions and from the revolutionary network on social networks.


Venezuelans, this decision has not been easy

, but rest assured that you have this server to fight from any space. We will not rest and we will continue working day and night to achieve the freedom that all Venezuelans deserve," said López in his first appearance on social media after the leak.

López met this Sunday, finally, with his family, as certified by his father, the popular MEP Leopoldo López Gil.


Very happy to meet my son in Madrid

and enjoy his freedom in the company of the family. Thanks to Spain for its consistent support of democratic principles," he said through the social network Twitter.

And his party, Voluntad Popular, released a photograph with the most anticipated moment: the hug with his wife and three children.

His wife, Lilian Tintori, as well as his children and parents live in Madrid.

Gone is a long nightmare for someone who in his day Chavismo considered his main enemy, which is why he disqualified him when he was mayor of the Caracas municipality of Chacao and the main favorite to become mayor of the capital.

Since surrendering to the Bolivarian National Guard in 2014, during the anti-government protests known as

La Salida

, López spent three and a half years in a cell in the Ramo Verde military prison, 21 months under house arrest at his home in Caracas and 18 months in the residence of the Spanish ambassador in Caracas, a refugee as a guest.

Both the father of the opposition leader and the interim government thanked the "historic" support of the Spanish government during their stay at the ambassador's residence.

But it has been precisely the political turn of the Spanish government and the replacement of the current ambassador, Jesús Silva, that has pushed López to risk an escape full of dangers and a new stage in exile dotted with questions.

The Spanish Government will

confirm in the next few hours that Juan Fernández Trigo

, current ambassador to Cuba, is the man chosen as charge d'affaires to command the new stage designed by the Foreign Minister, Arancha González Laya.

His diplomatic placet has already been presented to Nicolás Maduro.

Fernández Trigo landed in Havana in 2018 to manage the historical visits of Pedro Sánchez and King Felipe, but above all to manage what Josep Borrell called the "new stage" with the Castro government, chaired by Miguel Díaz-Canel.

The Spanish commitment was reflected again today in the informative note provided after López's landing in Madrid: "Spain reiterates its conviction that the multidimensional crisis that Venezuela is going through requires a negotiated solution, led by the Venezuelans themselves, that allows the celebration of presidential and parliamentary elections with full democratic guarantees ".

The Government of Madrid reiterated its "willingness" to help in this process

, despite the failures to date.

The last one headed by former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, whose negotiation with the Miraflores Palace caused a schism within the opposition.

Finally Capriles, supported by Josep Borrell, High Commissioner of the European Union (EU), and by Minister González Laya, had to back down and give up presenting a list to compete in the fraudulent 6-D elections, after Maduro refused. to be delayed until next year.

As happened in other spectacular escapes, the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Sebin), in charge of the surveillance of the Spanish embassy, ​​has been identified after the escape.

His answer is the same as always: reprisals against people linked to Leopoldo López and the Spanish legation.

The political policemen arrested Nubia Campos, a cook for the López family who has been supplying them with food during their confinement, and José Jerjes Neira, a veteran private guard at the embassy.

The local press has also reported the capture of two bodyguards who had worked with the López-Tintori couple.

Operations and raids were also carried out in buildings where members of the embassy staff live.

"Spain condemns the arrests of labor personnel of its embassy as well as the searches produced in the homes of personnel assigned to it, acts that imply a breach of the obligations contained in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations", criticized Foreign Affairs in its public note .

Arrival to Madrid

López's new career in Spanish exile started quietly


Since his escape was known, a lot of expectation was generated.

But there were no great acts.

Neither Venezuelans carrying the flags of their country, nor the familiar faces of other exiled opponents welcoming them, nor public statements.

The landing in Spain of the former political prisoner could not be captured by the objectives of the media cameras that gathered in Terminal 4 of the Madrid Barajas-Adolfo Suárez airport, waiting for a symbolic image or with the expectation of collecting his first words on Spanish soil.

The landing of López in the Spanish capital had nothing to do with those of other Venezuelan politicians such as Antonio Ledezma, former mayor of Caracas, or the massive reception that the president in charge of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, had last January.

The pandemic also had a lot to do with this, as access to the airport is very restricted, only travelers with boarding passes or accredited people.

The details of his agenda on European soil are not yet known

, but he did advance through social networks that "in the coming days we will expand in detail the actions that we propose to carry out in favor of the freedom of our people."

In the past, other Venezuelan dissidents met with Spanish authorities after fleeing their country.

This was the case of Ledezma, who in 2017 was quickly received by then-president Mariano Rajoy.

Guaidó was able to meet leaders like Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel during his European tour at the beginning of the year.

However, in Spain he did not meet with President Pedro Sánchez, although he was received with honors by the City Council and the Community of Madrid.

Precisely, both spoke on social networks about the recently released freedom of López.

Isabel García Ayuso

tweeted "Welcome home", along with the news of her abandonment of the Spanish embassy, ​​and

José Luis Martínez-Almeida

sent her an invitation: "It is the work of democrats to defend democracy wherever it has been taken away. Madrid believes and defend freedom. That is why it

would be an honor to receive you

, Leopoldo López. Always with the freedom of the Venezuelan people. "

The leaders of the Popular Party and Citizens also demonstrated.

Pablo Casado said: "After years in prison and torture, he will continue his fight for freedom until he can return to a democratic Venezuela. All my support and admiration."

Inés Arrimadas warned that "the cause of the Venezuelan democrats is freedom from tyranny and they will always have an ally in Ciudadanos."

Guaidó's ambassador in Madrid,

Antonio Ecarri Bolívar

, thanked Spain for guaranteeing "the integrity of Leopoldo López."

The founder of Voluntad Popular thus begins a new path

"from this new terrain of struggle"

, as he himself called it.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

Know more

  • Spain

  • Venezuela

  • Josep Borrell

  • Arancha González Laya

  • Henrique Capriles

  • Juan Guaidó

  • Lilian tintori

  • Nicolas Maduro

  • Pedro Sanchez

  • Elections Venezuela

VenezuelaSpain opens roads with Nicolás Maduro

VenezuelaSpain reiterates that it will not recognize the elections of Nicolás Maduro

Latin AmericaThe National Assembly declares the Spanish ambassador in Caracas "a friend of the Venezuelan cause for the recovery of democracy"

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